FanPost

Smaller School Prospects to Watch Out For Throughout the Draft Process

I made up a list of some smaller school prospects who could be flying up draft boards in the next few weeks if they haven't already. I know some of these guys are division I prospects however, I think they are from smaller D-I schools that some people may not be aware of. I took some quotable's from websites and added some stuff I saw and read about and saw on tape. All of these players have been invited to the combine with the exception of Cooper Taylor (who would have been a fun guy to watch go through drills and see if his large frame can flip his hips in coverage, as well as how fast he can run.)

Dt_common_streams_streamserver_cls_medium

via theadvocate.com

1. Robert Alford - CB: Southeastern Louisiana: 5'10" / 186 lbs/ 4.42-40yd / Projected Round (2/3)

Dominate at his level of play and more than held his own at the senior bowl. Possesses decent size to play outside in the NFL. Consistently competitive at the line in press coverage. Has fluid hips and quick feet to open up and run down the sideline, as well as a smooth backpedal to maintain cushion. Stays low in man off the snap to mirror his target's route. Aware zone defender who sees and attacks the underneath route. Good closing speed to the receiver when playing off. Flashes quickness to avoid blocks in the run game, brings some attitude to ride down running backs.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

2008

RS

-

-

-

-

2009

10

46

5

1

7

2010

DNP

-

-

-

-

2011

11

52

7

5

167

2012

11

39

8

4

5

Vs Northwestern State:

Robert Alford vs Northwestern State 2012 (via phillyjimmyphilms)

512x_medium

via binaryapi.ap.org

2. B.W. Webb - CB: William and Mary: 5'10" / 183 lbs/ 4.43-40yd / Projected Round (3/4)

Dominate at his level of play and more than held his own at the senior bowl. Wiry strong corner with a tenacious attitude. Aware zone corner, keeps his eyes in the backfield and reacts quickly to throws in his area. Athleticism jumps off the tape. Excellent ball skills. Displays the strong hands for interception. Impressive vertical jump to play the ball in the air and high-point passes. Has foot quickness to stay with his man after a cut. Explosive closing burst and click-and-close ability. Excellent recovery speed. Good length to wrap up receivers after the catch on quick screens. Willing tackler in the open field. Been compared to Lardarius Webb.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

2008

RS

-

-

-

-

2009

14

23

3

8

160

2010

12

42

5

1

0

2011

11

40

3

2

11

2012

11

46

8

0

0

Vs Maryland & Lafayette:

B.W. Webb vs Maryland & Lafayette 2012 (via phillyjimmyphilms)

Mountain-west-conference-2012-football-preview-uh24gm7u-x-large_medium

via i.usatoday.net

3. Leon McFadden - CB: San Diego State: 5'10" / 193 lbs/ 4.49 - 40yd / Projected Round (4/5)

1st team All MWC 2010, 2011, and 2012. Possesses quick feet and good speed. Fluid hips help him transition from pedal to close, also to adjust to out routes after opening up. Good awareness as a zone defender, jumps underneath routes but also keeps an eye on the quarterback and can adjust to make plays on receivers running behind him. Been compared to Brent Grimes.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

2009

12

26

0

1

39

2010

13

55

12

2

0

2011

13

46

13

2

23

2012

13

61

12

3

124

Vs BYU:

Leon Mcfadden vs BYU 2012 (via JmpasqDraftjedi)

Jamie-collins-olb-southern-miss-pic1_medium

via beyondthecombine.com

4. Jamie Collins - OLB: Southern Mississippi: 6'3" / 245 lbs / 4.65 - 40yd / Projected Round (3/4)

1st team All CUSA. Muscular, athletic-looking frame with powerful hands and long arms. Accelerates well in a straight line, and exhibits good flexibility, both coming off the edge as a rusher, as well as when changing direction in space. Displays a knack for getting to the quarterback off the edge, with impressive natural power on contact, and ability to disengage when he uses his hands effectively. Flashes a strong, sudden closing burst in space. Doesn't possess a ton of short-area burst when breaking down to make tackles in space, but uses length nicely to compensate. Very raw player with suspect instincts shown so far. Played very well at the senior bowl. Been compared to K.J. Wright, saying he is more physically gifted and more athletic however has less instincts at this point in his career. Will be a bit of a developmental prospect that could develop into a very good starter. Intangibles have been called into question.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

TFL

SACK

PBU

INT

2009

13

47

3.0

2.0

0

0

2010

13

76

2.5

2.5

2

2

2011

14

98

19.5

6.5

8

1

2012

12

92

20.0

10.0

5

0

Vs Nebraska:

Jamie Collins vs Nebraska (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)

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via d2om8tvz4lgco4.cloudfront.net

5. David Bass - OLB: Missouri Western State: 6'4" / 263 lbs / 4.73 - 40yd / Projected Round (5)

Bass dominated the Division-II ranks, bringing a productive resume to the NFL with 56 tackles for loss and 39.5 sacks over his career. Gene Upshaw Award Finalist. Good first step quickness and natural burst off the snap. Plays with springs in his legs with good vertical and lateral movements. Active hands to defeat blocks with good awareness to find the ballcarrier. Plays assignment-sound football and has developed his instincts. Motivated individual with an excellent competitive drive. Positive locker room presence with strong character on and off the field. Proved he could compete with top competition at the East-West Game. Even though he is very good at getting to the QB he could refine his moves to become even better.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

TFL

SACK

2008

RS

-

-

-

2009

12

47

9.5

6.5

2010

12

47

11.5

7.0

2011

12

55

20.0

14.5

2012

14

61

16.0

11.5

Only had a highlight tape I could find:

David Bass Missouri Western State University (via Ryan Menley)

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via bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com

6. Quanterus Smith - OLB: Western Kentucky: 6'5" / 248 lbs / 4.74 - 40yd / Projected Round (6/7)

One of the nations leaders in sacks at 12.5 before injuring his knee. Put together one of the most decorated seasons of any defender in WKU football history, racking up 12.5 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss in 2012. The 12.5 sacks this season sits just behind the Sun Belt Conference record of 13.0 sacks in a single season, while his 24.0 career sacks are tied for the conference record. Had surgery following the end of the regular season to repair a torn ACL in his left knee which has dropped his draft stock considerably and will make him miss most if not all of his rookie year but could be a nice steal in the later rounds if he comes back healthy. Possesses the length pro coaches love to see on their defense. Flashes the explosion off the snap as an edge rusher to beat most college tackles to the back of the pocket. Agile enough to contain on the edge and move in space when asked to drop, as well as the motor to hustle down the line and fight to the quarterback until the ball is away. Plays the weak and strong sides of the formation, using extension and a bit more lower body strength than expected given his size to hold his own against right tackles. Hand use greatly improved between junior and senior seasons. Now possesses active, disruptive hands, constantly fighting for inside position and waxing blockers' hands off his body. Has the flexibility to dip his shoulder and reduce his surface area coming around the edge. Creative pass rusher who understands the art of the slow rush. Gets the offensive tackle to over-commit, then beats him with a rip to the outside or swim to the inside.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

TFL

SACK

2008

RS

-

-

-

2009

12

12

1.0

0.0

2010

12

47

10.5

4.0

2011

12

38

11.0

6.5

2012

10

38

18.5

12.5

Vs. Florida International:

Quanterus Smith vs Florida International (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)

Resized_99263-5cpowell39pbw_79-16320_t728_jpg_medium

via media.arkansasonline.com

7. Ty Powell - OLB: Harding: 6'2" / 245 lbs / 4.63 - 40yd / Projected Round (7)

One of my favorite most intriguing prospects in the draft. 1st team All-GAC w/40 TT, 15 TFL, 8.5 SCK, PBU, 3 QBH, 2 FR, FF, 4 BLK in '12. He started his career at SS for DeAnza College and switched to DE at Harding. Powell lacks the size for the line but could be a very good linebacker due to his athleticism, hips, and is a strong prospect on special teams. He can block kicks and runs very well. Powell is older and missed most of 2011 but had a strong 2012 season and could be taken in the late rounds. Because of his background as a safety and his athleticism along with his play at DE, I think he could be a project SAM linebacker in the 4-3 under that eventually becomes a very good starter. He was the talk of the senior bowl and was said to be the best OLB there by some people I have read.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

TFL

SACK

PBU

INT

2009

JUCO

-

-

-

-

-

2010

JUCO

-

-

-

-

-

2011

4

7

2.5

2.0

0

0

2012

11

40

15.0

8.5

1

0

I can't find any tape on him besides this highlight of him at safety at junior college:

Ty Powell De Anza College (via hockeydde)

Wilcox_medium

via www.gsufans.com

8. J.J. Wilcox - SS: Georgia Southern: 5'11" / 214 lbs / 4.54 - 40yd / Projected Round (5/6)

One of the big winners at the senior bowl from what I have read. Mike Mayock has been quoted saying "215-pound safety with corner feet," Mayock described. "I think he's an immediate starter in the NFL, he can help you on special teams. This is a guy that I've really enjoyed watching." A running back/slot receiver his first three seasons at Georgia Southern, Wilcox moved to strong safety as a senior and was a first-team all-league pick by the Southern Conference coaches. He also brings to the table kickoff return value.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

2009

8

3

0

0

0

2010

15

2

0

0

0

2011

13

3

0

0

0

2012

14

88

3

2

0

Vs Samford:

JJ Wilcox vs Samford (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)

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via image.cdnllnwnl.xosnetwork.com

9. Cooper Taylor - SS: Richmond: 6'4" / 229 lbs / 4.57 - 40yd / Projected Round (7)

A Georgia Tech transfer, Taylor stood out as the most impressive defender on the East squad during practice. With his size and strength, he is an enforcer against the run but he also showed the range and athleticism to be effective in coverage as well as the football intelligence to digest a lot of coaching all at once. Taylor routinely drew praise from the coaching staff during drills and often made the calls to get his teammates in proper position. Plays with excellent aggression and physicality. Decisive in his decision making and shows a good burst, arriving to the play quickly and ready to blow up the ballcarrier. Better than expected athleticism for his size, and flows to the action while breaking down on the move. Good footwork and can close quickly on plays in front of him. Has the size and range to be an enforcer against both the run and the pass, but has also impressed with his instincts and football awareness. Lacks elite top-end speed for the position. Plays too upright at times. History of injuries, in addition to the medical condition (heart condition(Wolff Parkinsons white syndrom)) that will require extensive evaluation before NFL teams feel comfortable drafting him. This same condition is what led to him transferring out of Georgia Tech.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

PBU

INT

YDS

2008

13

69

2

1

28

2009

3

16

0

1

0

2010

5

5

0

0

0

2011

8

72

3

1

44

2012

10

78

9

4

55

Not a great tape but the only thing I could find:

Cooper Taylor -- University of Richmond (via RichmondSpiders)

Brandon_original_original_medium

via cdn.bleacherreport.net

10. Brandon Williams - NT: Missouri Southern: 6'2" / 341 lbs / 5.09 - 40yd / Projected Round (2/3)

Williams picked up his third straight AFCA All-America Team honor by finishing third in the nation in forced fumbles with five, and recorded 8.5 sacks and 16.5 tackles for loss. Also named the MIAA defensive player of the year. Broad-shouldered and bulked up, especially in his upper body. Possesses the upper body strength to shove opponents into the backfield and disrupt plays before they even have a chance to begin. Has enough short area quickness to slice through gaps. Possesses longer arms (32 3/4) than expected given his stout frame, which he uses well to keep offensive linemen off of him. Strong, heavy hands. Experienced playing on the nose, defensive tackle and out wide as a five-technique defensive end and has the length and awareness to be similarly versatile in the NFL. Good recognition of screens and draws. Surprisingly light feet and balance to move laterally through the trash and shows enough phone booth quickness to close. Good strength and aggression for the pull-down tackle. Gets his hands up in passing lanes to provide quarterback's with narrow lanes and has good hand-eye coordination and timing to tip passes. Enjoyed an impressive week of practice at the Senior Bowl. My favorite pick at NT/SDT in the entire draft value wise. I see him every bit as good as John Jenkins who may end up going in the first round.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

TFL

SACK

2008

11

38

3.0

-

2009

RS

-

-

-

2010

11

50

17.0

9.0

2011

9

35

16.0

8.0

2012

11

68

16.5

8.5

Senior Bowl tape:

Brandon Williams Missouri Southern Senior Bowl (via footballmixtapes)

Utfootball001_medium

via sbphotos.com

11. Montori Hughes - NT: UT Martin: 6'5" / 328 lbs / 5.04 - 40yd / Projected Round (5)

Moves light on his feet with an explosive first step to beat blockers off the snap. Shows natural burst to close and finish in a flash. NFL-sized nose tackle with thick upper body and strength through the thighs. Flashes initial quickness off the ball, can drive the center backwards or lift him off the ground post-snap when fully utilizing his strength and explosiveness. Does not give much ground against single or double blocks. Shows the agility to spin off blocks and move to the ball down the line. Provides pressure up the middle with a swim move or quick movement into either A-gap. Quick enough to chase quarterbacks trying to leave the pocket if free from his block, can also force cut backs by ballcarriers by his effort to the ball in the backfield. Works hard to hold the line using his lower body strength, and can split doubles to get to the ball in tight quarters. Flashes violent hands to rip off man-up blocks. Allows his pad level to rise off the snap and will struggle with leverage at times. Room to improve his fundamentals to shed quicker, relying too much on his tools and not technique. I love this guy as a developmental prospect who has all the tools and has been productive but can get even better. His size and strength will allow him to play SDT but his athleticism will allow him to play the 5 Tech as well so he can be very versatile. Been compared to Red Bryant.

Career Stats:

Year

GP

TKL

TFL

SACK

2009

13

20

5.5

1.0

2010

12

17

3.5

1.0

2011

11

30

6.5

1.0

2012

11

42

8.5

4.0

Vs Northern Illinois:

Montori Hughes vs Northern Illinois (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)

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via pbcommercial.com

12. Terron Armstead - OT: Arkansas-Pine Bluff: 6'5" / 306 lbs/ 4.86-40yd / Projected Round (4/5)

A standout at the Shrine Game, Armstead was an injury replacement for Senior Bowl and didn't look out of place in Mobile. Remarkable athlete. Lines up at left tackle but has the athleticism to consider as a tackle-eligible pass-catcher. Good burst off the snap and accelerates quickly, making him an ideal fit in a zone-blocking offense which requires blocking on the move and releasing to the second level. Flashes great explosiveness with a powerful initial pop to the defender. Good balance. Plays on the balls of his feet and his knees bent, showing the ability to adjust to oncoming pass rushers and mirroring them throughout the play. Very intelligent. A better athlete than football player, at this time. Needs to get stronger. Been compared to Joe Staley. I listen to an interview of his and he said he wanted to run below a 4.7 in the 40 at the combine and anything higher would be a disappointment. He looks like a guy that could develop into a really good starter if he gets in the weight room and gets a stronger base.

Vs Jackson State (SWAC Championship):

Terron Armstead vs Jackson State 2012 (via phillyjimmyphilms)

78_jordan_mills_rt_la_tech_medium

via www.draftnasty.com

13. Jordan Mills - OT: Louisiana Tech: 6'5" / 318 lbs/ 5.33-40yd / Projected Round (3/4)

1st team all WAC in 2012. Replacement player in the Senior Bowl and really held his own in Mobile. Was said to be very physical and aggressive at the RT position. Mills has tremendous size and power in his upper and lower body. Mills is always hustling, and doesn't stop working until the whistle blows. He shows good awareness on stunts and sells play action passes very well. Mills has a very good first step. Takes a powerful inside step to cut off defenders. Showcases this step and balance on seal and reach blocks. Coordinated, with a good pass set. Doesn't have the feet you look for in a LT so will have to play on the right side in the NFL. Been compared to Michael Oher. When I first started making this list he was projected to be a 6th round pick, but it seems scouts have caught on.

1st half vs Texas A and M, he is the right tackle:

#22 Texas A&M vs #23 Louisiana Tech 2012 Part 1 (via thornsx)

T34izaezjxamsc0t_medium

via cdn77.psbin.com

14. J.C. Tretter - OG: Cornell: 6'4" / 302 lbs/ 5.08-40yd / Projected Round (5)

A high school quarterback and basketball star who signed with Cornell to play tight end, Tretter has maintained his athleticism while adding mass, emerging as one of this year's more intriguing developmental offensive linemen. Tretter's rapid development caught the attention of former Cleveland Browns general manager Phil Savage, now the director of the Senior Bowl, who invited the Cornell blocker to the prestigious all-star game. Unfortunately for Tretter, a broken nose suffered while training before the game kept him sidelined, robbing scouts of the opportunity to see him against top competition. Possesses an athletic frame with room for additional muscle mass. Quick off the snap, demonstrating light feet with lateral agility and balance. Shoots his hands into the chest of his opponent and flashes some nastiness to knock defenders to the ground when he senses them off-balance. Shows surprising football intelligence considering his lack of experience. Recognizes blitzes and adjusts to stunts well, showing the ability to slide off of double-teams and take on the defender looping around. Takes the game seriously, showing the attention to detail to improve. An ascending talent who is just scratching the surface of his potential. He has obvious questions about level of competition and his strength.

Vs Yale, he is the left tackle:

JC Tretter vs Yale (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)

Davidquessenberrynmsu1_display_image_medium

via cdn.bleacherreport.net

15. David Quessenberry - OG/OT: San Jose State: 6'5" / 294 lbs/ 5.18-40yd / Projected Round (4)

1st team All-WAC. Plays with low pad level and flashes the mean streak. Possesses the natural bend to succeed in pass protection, both mirroring ends while leveraging a strong punch and riding edge rushers around the pocket. Plays under control, and shows some agility and quickness in his pass set. Recovers well if lunging off the snap. In short-yardage situations, able to drive off the snap and play with leverage. He'll also hustle downfield after plays, taking out defenders standing around and cleaning up piles when necessary. He is listed as an OT prospect but I see him being a solid guard in the NFL. He looked really good from what I have read at the senior bowl at the guard position.

Senior Bowl tape:

David Quessenberry (OT San Jose State) Senior Bowl (via footballmixtapes)

Out of all the players on this list there are a few I especially want to target and think will be great value if their stock doesn't keep rising. Ty Powell is first on my list as a 7th round pick. I really think he could be a nice developmental piece who could fit perfectly as a SAM in the 4-3 under. Montori Hughes in the 5th I believe will be another steal. He is a very versatile DT with great upside to be an eventual starter. If you can get Robert Alford in the 3rd round I think he will be a huge steal. I think he can come in and compete from day one and be a very good starter in the NFL.

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